My family’s journey with Postpartum Depression was not that unusal- it started after the birth of our son Elliot. Like so often, I thought everything was normal and going according to plan, but I had no idea the amount of pain or anxiety that was consuming my wife. On the outside she looked happy and engaged but on the inside she was overwhelmed and terrified. It wasn’t until that afternoon, about 7-10 weeks after delivery, I realized something was very wrong. I woke up from a nap after getting called into work overnight to find my wife sitting in the corner of the room crying. In that moment, I knew we had to get her help. After securing childcare for Elliot from family and friends, we made our way to the hospital. Over the next few days, we learned that my wife was suffering with Postpartum Depression Anxiety. After she received inpatient therapy, my wife was discharged into the Intensive Outpatient Program.
We faced many challenges and hurdles during this process like timely access to care, lack of disease specific therapy, and available resources for the spouse.
Even though this has been one of the most challenging periods in my life, being married to my wife and the birth of my son have been, and continue to be, the best moments that I will cherish forever and I hope to ensure the same for others.
- William Vehovic
Behavioral Health Services for Women
Behavioral health services provided at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC have been developed to meet the unique needs of women in pregnancy, post partum, and mid- and late life. The multidisciplinary staff are experts at assessing and meeting the needs of women and their families and understanding how difficult it is to seek help for emotional and psychiatric problems. We treat women at all stages of life.
One in five women will experience an episode of clinical depression in her lifetime and more than half will never seek treatment. Depression affects women about twice as often as men. Other behavioral health disorders such as anxiety and bipolar disorders also affect women in profound ways throughout their life cycle.
Pregnancy and the postpartum period are frequently considered a time of great joy. When a woman experiences depression, anxiety, or symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder, it can be a time of great confusion and uncertainty. Distinguishing whether this is a normal reaction or a problem that requires professional help can be difficult to determine. Finding someone who has the clinical skill, expertise, and understanding to help define the problem and develop a plan of treatment can be frustrating. The staff of the Behavioral Health Services at Magee are equipped to do just that. Working with ob/gyns, social workers, and family members, our staff provides education, support, and treatment for women of all ages.
Magee-Womens Behavioral Health Services
Pre-conception evaluation and counseling
Comprehensive psychiatric assessment
Psychiatric consultation regarding use of medication in pregnancy and post partum period
Pharmacologic management during pregnancy and the postpartum
Stress and coping classes